The Diocese of New Ulm is working to ensure those who have filed sexual abuse claims against the diocese and/or parishes within it are aware of an important deadline in its bankruptcy case.

Claimants have or will soon receive a copy of the plan of reorganization, a disclosure statement and balloting materials, so that they may vote whether they approve the plan.

What follows is a statement from Bishop John M. LeVoir of the New Ulm Diocese:

“On Dec. 20, 2019, the U.S. bankruptcy court approved the disclosure statement and joint chapter 11 plan of reorganization filed by the Diocese of New Ulm and the committee of unsecured creditors in November. The plan of reorganization provides the means for settling and paying all claims related to sexual abuse and misconduct through the formation of a trust that will be funded by contributions from the diocese, parishes and settling insurers.

“The disclosure statement summarizes the plan and provides further background regarding the diocese and the diocese’s bankruptcy case. The disclosure statement is intended to assist claimants with making an informed decision regarding their vote on the plan. Soon, those who have sexual abuse claims against the Diocese of New Ulm or parishes within it will receive the disclosure statement, plan of reorganization and other materials they need to vote on whether they approve the plan. The deadline to return ballots is Feb. 19, 2020. At least two-thirds of voting claimants in each class need to vote to approve the plan.

“The bankruptcy judge will hold a hearing March 10, 2020, at the Brown County Courthouse in New Ulm to determine if the Diocese of New Ulm has met all the requirements of the bankruptcy code. If the requirements have been met, the judge will then issue an order confirming the plan. After confirmation of the plan, a trust will be created consisting of the assets described in the plan. A plan trustee, approved by the court, will then make payments to the claimants. The disclosure statement, plan of reorganization and additional related documents are posted on the reorganization pages of the diocesan Web site at www.hopehealingandpeace-dnu.org.

“I ask local Catholics of the diocese to join me in prayer for a fair resolution to sexual abuse claims and for the healing of those abused. I again offer an apology on behalf of the church for the pain victims and survivors of sexual abuse have suffered. The Diocese of New Ulm is committed to finding a fair resolution for victims and survivors while continuing our ministry for those we serve throughout south and west-central Minnesota.”